PETA Germany has obtained shocking video footage from an organic goat farm in northwestern Germany which shows these gentle animals being violently beaten, deprived of veterinary care when sick and injured, and abused in other ways.
Don’t be fooled: Labels like “organic,” “humanely raised,” and “free-range” do not protect animals from suffering.
Mothers Beaten for Milk
Acting on a whistleblower tip, PETA Germany visited the farm several times and captured video evidence of repeated abuse and neglect.
Workers forced terrified goats into the milking parlor by beating them with sticks or their fists. When they tried to flee, workers grabbed them by their horns or legs, hauled them back into position, and beat them again. They were herded into the milking parlor twice a day, and these violent beatings appear to be the standard operating procedure.
Sick, Starving, and Fed Spoiled Food
Goats on this farm also suffer outside of the milking parlor.
Confined by the hundreds to a massive shed, they were deprived of medication and proper veterinary care, even when sick or injured. The eyewitness observed many emaciated animals with ribs and hip bones clearly visible, lameness, open wounds, deformed hooves, and upper respiratory conditions. Diarrhea was also common, apparently a result of being regularly fed spoiled food.
Tossed Aside Like Trash
Under these neglectful conditions, many animals, including young goats, died every day.
Instead of having their bodies removed by a disposal company as required by law (which might have led to questions about the high mortality rate), the farm simply tossed their corpses behind a shed like trash and covered them with a tarp.
Forced Impregnation and Kidnapping
Like cows on dairy farms, female goats must be repeatedly impregnated in order to produce milk, and shortly after birth, their beloved babies are torn away from them.
Males are raised for their flesh and slaughtered when just a few months old. Females are often doomed to the same cruel fate as their mothers: a lifetime of forcible impregnation, separation from their babies, and beatings, followed by terrifying slaughter when their milk production declines.
PETA Germany has filed a complaint against the farm owners, and is calling for them to be banned from keeping animals in the future. The two workers seen abusing goats in the footage have been fired. PETA Germany is also calling for action against the Veterinary Office that inspected the farm for failing to act on the abuse it witnessed.
Don’t Buy the Labels’ Lies
At the time the investigation footage was taken, this farm was certified organic under Germany’s Bioland label. Since the footage was released, Bioland has removed its seal of approval from products produced by this farm but many of the abuses uncovered are standard practice at farms around the world.
eel-good marketing buzzwords like “all-natural,” “free-range,” “free-roaming,” and “organic” mislead consumers and don’t mean anything when it comes to the way animals are treated. At a Pennsylvania farm that supplies Whole Foods with what it calls “humanely raised” pork, PETA revealed sick and injured pigs languishing for weeks and suffering from rectal prolapses, workers hitting pigs as they were loaded for slaughter, and other abuses. At “high welfare” chicken farms that supply the U.K. grocery chain Marks & Spencer, an eyewitness uncovered tens of thousands of birds crammed into sheds that were strewn with the bodies of dead chickens, birds missing feathers and suffering from severe injuries, crippled chickens struggling to stand up because they had been bred to grow unnaturally large breasts, and other suffering. As investigation after investigation reveals, no matter what country it happens in, whenever animals are treated as commodities, cruelty and suffering is prevalent.